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GT Racing: Motor Academy (iPhone)

For: iPhone   Also on: Android

Class is in session

Product: GT Racing: Motor Academy (iPhone) | Developer: In-house | Publisher: Gameloft | Format: iPhone | Genre: Racing | Players: 1-6 | Networking: wireless (network), Bluetooth | Version: Europe | App version: 1.3.7
GT Racing: Motor Academy (iPhone) iPhone, thumbnail 1
GT Racing: Motor Academy is like opening a decade-old textbook on how to design a driving simulation.

The lessons are well-constructed and accurate, though it lectures about principles that are common sense to any racer.

Such familiarity leaves GT Racing: Motor Academy to be schooled more often than it is able to instruct, its lack of personality and generic curriculum tuned up to the highest standards of quality.

Teacher's pet

It's evident that the development team did their homework because all of the necessary features are here. GT Racing: Motor Academy packs a staggering 100 vehicles licensed from 24 manufacturers across several classes including tuner, muscle, and sport.

A lengthy Career mode packs a whopping 63 events across 14 venues ranging from closed courses to off-road rally. There's even online multiplayer via wi-fi for up to six players.

When it comes to handling and physics, the game earns high marks for appropriately differentiating vehicles. A speedy Lotus Elise glides atop the asphalt with grace and power, whereas the Mini Cooper S darts about courses with realistic agility.

The handling is realistic enough to be challenging without demanding aggravating levels of precision. Of course, a limited set of tuning options are available if you have enough credits on hand.

Well behaved

All of these elements are of the utmost quality and, for the most part, expected. GT Racing: Motor Academy takes attendance, issuing a roll call of features that are marked present. Yet there's no panache.

In reciting the principles established by those racers that came long before it, GT Racing: Motor Academy doesn't then embellish upon the lesson. Instead, it holds fast to orthodoxy and lets pass the opportunity to carve out its own breed of racing.

By the numbers it outstrips Need for Speed: Shift and Real Racing, yet held in your hands it lacks the ferocity of the former and the tenacity of the latter.

What GT Racing: Motor Academy gains in features it loses in personality.

Red ink

What boosts a good racer into the realm of great has to do with its willingness to explore new ideas and evolve the fundamentals. For all the benefits of familiarity, it prevents innovation.

Here the racing is admittedly enjoyable, but it never thrills or commands awe. If there's any boldness to be found it's in the competitive online multiplayer.

Even visually it maintains a level of quality that is only mildly impressive. While the vehicles look terrific and the venues are varied (enough praise can't be heaped on the game for this), the graphics don't dazzle.

Short draw distance has the road and competing racers popping in and out of view at surprisingly close range. It has virtually no impact on gameplay, but nevertheless smudges the presentation.

To be fair, GT Racing: Motor Academy achieves an above-average grade for the completeness of its design and delivering phenomenal value. The racing is enjoyable and varied, even though it lacks the individuality to turn it over to greatness.
GT Racing: Motor Academy (iPhone)
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 9 February 2010
GT Racing: Motor Academy takes attendance and every conceivable feature and mechanic is here, except bold individuality
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